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03/26/14

Puppy power: Pets play integral role in recovery

The term "man's best friend" when referring to dogs specifically needs to be slightly amended.
How about "man's best friend and motivator," and including in that pets of all shapes, sizes and classifications?
Dogs, cats, birds, fish or even the stray reptile serve as more than just companions, chums or cozy, couch counterparts (well, except for the fish, hopefully). Studies have shown that any and all types of pets actually help encourage everything from being more physically fit to aiding and encouraging and engaging the sick and elderly and instilling them with the will to get better or extract a sense of purpose from their psyche, knowing that you have to care for, feed and nurture these animals.
Often times, you'll hear stories of how a new, post surgery puppy infused the would be sick and recovering patient with additional willpower to want to get better faster. That sentiment could come in the form of longing to take long walks with your new dog or just helping cognitively with the recovery process, as far as having someone who won't leave your side and truly brings happiness, love and joy to a person who may be experiencing sadness as it relates to being ill.
Aside from the healing power of pets in general and dogs specifically, they're also a tremendous incentive to reinvigorate your exercise acumen and thus pull you from the depths of your couch and television and, to some degree, force you outside, into the sunlight and on to the walking trail.

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Not only will you increase your physical activity and potentially lose weight in the process, but getting outside should improve your mood and thus tinker with your demeanor in a positive way. Cats, birds and fish have all been recommended as renowned and legitimate ways to help lower blood pressure and relieve stress.
You also can't stress enough just how paramount pets can be for people with disabilities, whether you're talking about a seeing eye dog, dogs for deaf persons or even, like Pets for Patriots, pets that are hand picked to be adopted and saved by the men and women of the military.
Dogs especially fill the void and provide unparalleled assistance for people who suffer from seizures or autism, providing warning and a calming presence, respectively for their owners.
Pets lovers rarely look at their pets as nothing more than sidekicks. They rightfully perceive them as part of the family, and the pets quietly remain forever loyal and reciprocate the love and benefits back to their owners in a myriad of ways.

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